Frida Hållander

Whose Hand is Making?

My thesis project studies how the process of making is experienced in different spaces and using different materials, revealing how such experiences are intimately linked to different subjective and physical orientations. The thesis touches on craft, class and feminism, but also on temporal lines and passings in different spaces. It is an auto-ethnographic and making-case study in which my own lines and spatial passings are the starting point for a reflection on whose hand is doing the making.

The aim of the study is to investigate craft practices, lines and spaces on the basis of an intersectional perspective. The questions addressed are Whose hand is making? The question is based on an intersectional perspective and the words whose, hand and making bring the research's aim of investigating craft on the basis of intersections to the fore. How can we understand craft practices in dialogue with society? How do we understand objects that resist? How will social, feminist and political movements be retold through objects?

The first study examines British sugar bowls and teacups from 1787 until the early 1900s. The objects have motifs that agitate against slavery or on behalf of suffrage. This study also activates a series of commemorative plates made by Swedish Rörstrand porcelain factory in 1914. The second study examines textile materials from social, feminist and political movements. The study begins in the Swedish sewing factory Öxabäcks syfabrik in the 1960s, a factory that is today closed down. The study follows objects made by a group of seamstresses that organised Sweden's first women's football team, Öxabäck IF. The study looks at the organisation of the seamstresses/football players and their making – among other things, they made their own shorts.

The material in both studies is examined using craft methods, or what is known as collective makings. As situational and partial experiences from the process of making are the basis of the research, subjective and physical experiences, known as auto-ethnography, contribute by providing methodological tools.


Frida Hållander is a craft artist and a PhD candidate at Konstfack in Stockholm and at The Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg. She holds a Bachelor's degree (2006) and a Master's degree (2009) from Konstfack, Department of Ceramics and Glass. She has also studied at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, 2005.

Among Hållander's publications is the article "Homeless Practices" in The Journal of Modern Craft, 2013. In 2010 she conducted the project Vernacular Craft at Konstfack. Selected exhibitions include Bavarian Craft Association in Munich, Germany (2015), Borås Art Museum (2009 and 2016), Gustavsbergs Art Gallery for Contemporary Craft (2009 and 2012) and Röhsska Muséet (2016). Frida Hållander's work is represented at Röhsska Muséet, Gothenburg and Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.


Principal supervisor: Christina Zetterlund, professor in crafts history and theory, Konstfack.

Assistant supervisor: Hanna Hallgren, professor in literary composition, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Project period: 2010-2017 

Exhibition at Gustavsbergs konsthall 2017: "To Contest" ("Att ta strid")

The exhibition is part of Frida Hållanders thesis work.

Updated: 30 May 2017
Author: Olga Karlsson